Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Disease Model of Evil

In order to support the idea of innate evil we would have to accept the existence of evil babies. Now, horror movies aside, I have have yet to come across an evil baby and I don't know anyone else who has either. This being the case, evil must arise due to environmental factors. The damage occurs mainly in childhood. No sane person would hold the child responsible for this. But at some point, our tolerance for the victimized child gives way to moral condemnation, yet the line between these is never defined except in law, where it is unarguably arbitrary. Some would object that since all "evil" people are victims of other "evil" people, this cannot be used as an excuse since no one could ever be judged or punished. Of course this assumes that judging and punishing have moral legitimacy. I don't consider this a reasonable assumption. I am not saying we should do nothing about it. However, our focus should be on harm reduction, not punishment. This is where the disease model of evil becomes appropriate. Evil is an acquired dysfunction of awareness, and an acquired dysfunction is, by definition, disease. We also know that it spreads by contagion. Let's say two people are exposed to a virus and one gets sick while the other does not. We would consider it unhelpful and silly to condemn and punish the ill one, (actually, when bubonic plague was ravaging Europe, many did respond in this way and it made things much worse). We would instead treat the illness and, if necessary, impose a quarantine to prevent the spread of infection. We would study it's causes and take steps to reduce them. One of these causes is the idea that we are unworthy, that we must earn the right to exist. Our economic systems and most religions promote and rely for their existence on this poisonous fallacy. It is so pervasive that it is rarely questioned. It is the source of racism, elitism, slavery, eugenics, poverty, sexism, etc. In truth, all are infinitely worthy of existence. No person is more valuable than another. How can it be otherwise if we are ultimately One?

5 comments:

  1. Evil does not exist, evil is one aspect of love expressed in a most beautiful way.

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  2. That is true, and neither does ebola, but that is another plane of reality.

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  3. And the plane we have to deal with is this one, right here.

    Nice blog. Love the Hunab'ku on the sidebar. I was just reading about that (the galactic center, that is, not the Mayan astromythology) yesterday. Maybe that's a sign but I digress.

    Treating evil as disease makes perfect sense. In fact I think that's how it was generally handled, up until population pressure made things like simple ostracism ineffective (take a bunch of peasant hamlets that try the ostracism tactic on their homegrown murderers and rapists. They just head on over to the next village, where language and customs are similar enough they can get along just fine, and so in order to control such men stronger measures - death, mainly - are called for.)

    I find I'm regressing to the digression. Do you actually follow the Mayan calendar?

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  4. Thanks for your comment Psychegram. You're right about ostracism being ineffective. This was tried in the case of bubonic plague and it only caused it to spread faster. The best thing in my opinion would be to isolate those infected with "evil" from potential victims while providing whatever healing is required. In some cases love and acceptance would be enough but there is also psychotherapy, energy clearing/healing, LSD/Ayahuasca therapy, etc. They are, after all, our other selves who carry the energy of the shadow on behalf of us all. I started following the Tzolkin in April 2008. I've been meaning to write about the process. Thank you for the reminder.

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  5. I'm looking forward to hearing about it! I followed Arguelles' 13 Moon calender for a couple of months last year myself but stopped because ... well I'm not sure why myself.

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